This bimonthly department, sponsored by the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE), presents information to assist nurse leaders in shaping the future of healthcare through creative and innovative leadership. The strategic priorities of AONE anchor the editorial content. They reflect contemporary healthcare and nursing practice issues that challenge nurse executives as they strive to meet the needs of patients. In this month's article, AONE staff discuss AONE's Foundation for Nursing Leadership Research and Education and recipients of its recent research grants.


Article Content

The AONE Foundation for Nursing Leadership Research and Education (AONE Foundation) is celebrating 10 years of supporting the research and educational priorities of AONE. Founded in 1999, the AONE Foundation is committed to advancing nurse executive practice through research seed grants for projects related to nursing administration practice, educational awards to advance scholarship in formal education, and leadership awards to recognize innovative and effective achievements toward improving healthcare delivery. The Foundation partners with researchers, assists in the development and design of research initiatives, and provides operational and/or monetary support to nursing leadership education programs.


The Foundation's research seed grant program funds research projects in the areas of workforce, work environment, leadership development, patient safety, and evidence-based management practices. The awards have been granted annually since 2003, and as of 2010, the Foundation has awarded a total of $158,675 in seed grant funds to AONE members.


2010 AONE Foundation Research Seed Grant Winners

The AONE Foundation recently honored its 2010 research seed grant recipients during an award presentation at the AONE 43rd Annual Meeting and Exposition in Indianapolis, Indiana, April 9-13, 2010. The 2010 seed grant recipients are as follows:


* Patricia Conway-Morana, MAd, RNC, CENP, NEA-BC, CPHQ, FACHE, Inova Fairfax Hospital Falls Church, Virginia. Project title: "Improving Patient Care Through Understanding the Nursing Workplace." Conway-Morana will study the concept of structurational divergence, an unhealthy communication pattern wherein repeated unresolved conflict leads to immobilization both in individuals as well as at the organizational level.


* Lisa Rowen, DNSc, RN, FAAN, University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland. Project title: "The Effect of Leadership Development Interventions on Patient and Nurse Outcomes." Rowen will explore the effect of different interventions of leadership development for unit managers and clinical leaders on patient and nurse outcomes over time.


* Yolanda Keys, DHA, MSN, RN, NE-BC, Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi, Texas. Project title: "Generation X Nurse Managers: Exploring Generational Challenges and the Next Cadre of Nurse Leaders." Keys' work is an extension of previous research that examined high-performing Generation X women in the technology industry (conducted by Ann Feyerherm and Yvonne Vick in 2005). Her study builds on the intent of the original study "to uncover the meaning Generation X women gave to the concepts of professional success, personal fulfillment, and corporate environments that were conducive to loyalty and long-term commitment."



2009 AONE Foundation Research Seed Grant Winners

The AONE 43rd Annual Meeting and Exposition also featured presentations from the Foundation's 2009 research seed grant recipients, who shared the results of their research studies. The following offers a summary of their findings:


* Marie Ankner, MS, RN, NEA-BC, New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, New York. Project title: "Nurse Engagement and Patient Satisfaction." Ankner's study focused on the relationship between nurse satisfaction and patient satisfaction. Nurse satisfaction was measured with a standardized nurse engagement survey, and patient satisfaction was measured by Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS). The findings from her research suggest a positive correlation between nurse engagement and the hospital's overall patient satisfaction results and between nurse engagement and nurse communication composite. The results are being used to facilitate leveraging and sharing of best practices across New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation and to develop facility and corporate-based improvement initiatives, to strengthen nurse engagement and support healthy work environments. The HCAHPS data will continue to be carefully monitored for changing trends.


* Esther Chipps, PhD, RN, Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus. Project title: "Measuring Safety Behaviors in Nurses: Development of a New Instrument." The 3 specific aims of Chipps' research were to (1) develop an instrument to measure nurses' judgments about clinical errors in practice; (2) determine if there are differences in error classification among RNs by years of experience, clinical specialty, level of education, and job title; and (3) determine if there are differences in judgments about risk assessments of events among RNs by years of experience, clinical specialty, level of education, and job title. The preliminary findings showed variability in the classification of error severity among the nurses, including nurse experts. The findings also showed that nurses with more years of experience were more likely to judge the vignettes that had less harmful errors as more severe than nurses with less experience. In addition, nurses who provided direct clinical care did not differ significantly in error severity ratings from nurse administrators. Level of education, years of experience, clinical specialty, and job title were not strongly associated with ratings on the occurrence probability scale. Results from this study will be useful to nurse leaders in creating a culture of safety.


* Cynthia Kamikawa, MS, RN, NE-BC, The Queens Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii. Project title: "Measuring the Impact of Emotional Intelligence Development in Nurse Managers." Kamikawa's research study used a pretest/posttest design to measure the impact of an emotional intelligence-based leadership development program on measured emotional intelligence abilities. The research findings determined there was no statistical evidence of a positive or negative correlation of peer coaching with emotional intelligence scores, satisfaction or burnout variable, or retention variable. Total emotional intelligence scores correlated positively with work-life balance satisfaction and correlated negatively with total hours worked per week. Those who self-reported being overworked significantly correlated with feeling emotionally drained, overstressed, frustrated, feeling that the work day will never end, and a lack of enthusiasm. Results from this study indicate that work-life balance is important in the development of emotional intelligence in nurse managers.



The Foundation

The AONE Foundation will begin accepting applications for the 2011 awards in the fall of 2010. Grant amounts range from $3,000 to $8,000, and proposal evaluation is based on the relevance of the research to the mission and current work of AONE, soundness of the project's conceptual framework, and the quality, clarity, specificity, and feasibility of the research. Contact Sara Neuner, AONE Foundation program coordinator(sneuner@aha.org), or visit the AONE Foundation for Nursing Leadership Research and Education Web site at http://www.aone.org/foundation.